Greyhound says you’re not important
The ticket clerk rolls her eyes
Tells you to deal with it.
Bus driver scoffs
Tells the last 15 people in line,
who are paying customers,
to wait for the next bus,
this one’s already full.
I sit in the back.
The lavatory door doesn’t shut,
It swings open whenever the bus turns.
The driver calls everyone to prayer
in a church I do not feel welcome in.
Everyone speaks my second language.
My tongue is broken
it is a record scratch.
The bus is full of men.
The hour-long layover turns into no more
than five minutes.
Our driver mocks his own passengers,
says, “this ain’t no Disneyland ride.”
Customer service hotline is disconnected
No one to tell you that you’re right.
A woman stumbles into the broken stall,
mumbles to herself
and comes out smelling of gin and pinesol.
You are a pretty white girl
on a Greyhound bus.
Your boarding pass says
someone will come looking for you.
It says you got a little too used to taking airplanes.
The driver told you not to sit up front,
you look a little too used to that type of treatment.
I stop holding my girlfriend’s hand
in the station.
Somewhere between Waco and Tulsa
I lean in to kiss her and she stops me.
We arrive in Dallas
and I am reminded that here,
they shot JFK in broad daylight
so I don’t stand up for myself.
I take a seat,
learn something the rest of the world
already knows about.
I am told the first row of seats
Is not allowed to be occupied
because too many drivers got stabbed.
Hours of empty field roll by outside the window.
We have 3 more stops and no one gets off.
Everyone has 6 pairs of eyes
and I am suddenly self-conscious
of my buzzed hair,
the half naked mermaid tattooed to my arm.
There are only 10 hours to Oklahoma City
where I can go back to the real world again.
The one where I am not a rolling field,
that everyone stares at
but just passes by.